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High-Risk Pregnancies

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital opens new center for women.

It's stressful enough to have a high-risk pregnancy without having to travel a long distance for medical care. So Inova Fair Oaks Hospital recently opened an Antenatal Diagnostic Center (ADC) to take care of such expectant mothers locally.

It's a special-care facility at the hospital that, although just recently opened, is already proving to be a great asset. It provides a high level of care managed by experts in pregnancies that may be at risk for fetal, maternal or obstetric complications.

PREVIOUSLY, patients requiring special antenatal (before birth) services — in cases such as advanced maternal age, multiple births and other high-risk conditions identified by their doctors — had no choice but to travel to larger hospitals where equipment and specialists were located.

"In the past, women deemed high-risk pregnancies had to go as far as Baltimore or to Inova Fairfax Hospital to get these services," said hospital spokeswoman Susan Tulino.

But now, all that's changed. The new ADC offers these patients the specialized care they need, closer to home — whether they live in Fairfax, Prince William or Loudoun counties, or beyond.

And last month, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital hosted an open house for its ADC, with patient demonstrations for more than 200 people — including area OB/GYN physicians, their office staffs and Inova Fair Oaks Hospital employees.

The event showcased the facility’s new, state-of–the-art diagnostic equipment including fetal-sonogram imaging displayed on high-definition, 42-inch and 46-inch, flat-screen display monitors for patients and their families.

The ADC is the newest addition to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital’s Women’s Center that recently expanded to include 44, all-private rooms. This improvement enables the hospital to make good on its promise guaranteeing new mothers their own, private rooms after delivery.

OTHER FEATURES, such as “At-Your-Request” room service, and — as a courtesy to all patients, free valet parking at the hospital and all medical office buildings — allow new moms to enjoy amenities they’d most likely find at a fine hotel.

"With room service, you pick up your phone and order [food] from a menu," said Tulino. "As for the valet parking, you and your husband get out of the car together, take the elevator to the second floor and you're there."

She said Inova Fair Oaks is "all about creating centers," and this one expands its services for women. Said Tulino: "They're trying to make the experience filled with as many amenities as possible."

Just ask patient Sobhna Garg, an expectant mother of twins. “The ADC at Fair Oaks Hospital has been so nice and is really convenient for us," she said. "From the moment we arrived, we felt taken care of, and the free valet parking is a real plus for moms in my condition."

"The staff is so friendly here, they have gotten to know us on a first-name basis, and we never feel rushed," she continued. "Another thing we love is the spacious rooms with the big screens so my husband and I can see our babies.”

Perinatalogists practicing at the Inova Fair Oaks ADC are Alfred N. Khoury, M.D., and Barbara M. Nies, M.D., of Perinatal Associates of Northern Virginia — the same group of physicians practicing at Inova Fairfax Hospital’s Antenatal Testing Center. A variety of highly specialized tests and procedures are performed at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital’s ADC for patients referred there from their OB/GYN physicians.

"And they're open to different, birthing techniques, such as a water birth or having a dula or midwife," added Tulino. "It's also calm and quiet and can accommodate families — including grandparents and children — who want to visit the expectant mothers."

<1b>— Susan Tulino contributed to this article.